Malaysia and China finish top of the pools at the Men’s Hockey World League Round 2 in Dhaka
Top ranked Malaysia will lock horns with Sri Lanka in the quarter-finals of the Hockey World League Round 2 event this coming Thursday at the Moulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium following the completion of the pool phase on Tuesday (7 March).
The Malaysians, who sit 13th in the Hero FIH World Rankings, finished top of Pool A thanks to an 11-1 triumph over Fiji. Malaysia proved too strong for the South Pacific islanders with Shahril Sabbah arriving as the wrecker in chief by scoring four goals in the 2nd , 12th , 23rd and 59th minutes. Fitri Saari followed Shahril with three strikes in the 11th, 55th and 58th minutes while Baharom Rashid scored a brace in the 3rd and 22nd minutes. The other two came off the sticks of Aiman Nik Rosemi and Tengku Ahmad.
With three consecutive victories to their name, Malaysia finished the pool phase with a maximum nine points, while Fiji suffered their third defeat in as many matches and will now face China, the winners of Pool B, in the quarter-finals.
China, who suffered a shootout defeat to Egypt on Sunday, returned to winning ways with a 5-1 win over Sri Lanka. Guo Zixiang opened the account for China in the 6th minute with Guo Xiaping doubling the margin six minutes later. Rajith Kulatungha pulled one back for Sri Lanka in the 11th minute but three China goals after half time settled the result with Du Talake, Guo Zixiang and Du Chen all on target.
It could be a topsy-turvy affair when Oman meet Ghana in the third quarter-final. Oman outplayed hosts Bangladesh to record a 3-2 win and secure a second place finish in Pool A, while Ghana finished third in Pool B despite an impressive display against Egypt that resulted in a narrow 4-2 shootout loss.
The Ghanaians held Egypt to a spirited 1-1 draw in normal time, but the shootout win gave the Egyptians a second place finish in Pool B and sets up a meeting with Pool A’s third place finishing Bangladesh.
Like all of the Round 2 events, the competition in Dhaka features a clash between teams that came through the first phase of the competition against sides that were automatically given a bye through to Round 2 due to their higher placement in the FIH Hero World Rankings. The highest ranked teams will enter the competition at the Semi-Final stage of the Hockey World League.
The top two finishers from the men’s Round 2 events in Dhaka, Belfast (11-19 Mar 2017) and Tacarigua, (25 Mar-2 Apr 2017) are certain to qualify for the Semi-Finals, being joined in the World Cup qualifier phase by the two highest ranked of the third placed finishers from those three events.
To learn more about how the teams progress through the competition in the hope of reaching the 2018 Hockey World Cups, click here, with more details about all of the HWL events available by clicking here.
You can keep track of the tournament in Dhaka on the official competition pages by clicking here and on FIH’s social media channels using the #HWL2017 hashtag.